Used Nissan Qashqai long-term test review
For many years, the Qashqai was the go-to car in the family SUV sector. Can a used one convince us it's still worth a look? We've got four months to find out...
The car 2018 Nissan Qashqai 1.3 DIG-T 140 N-Connecta
Run by Mark Pearson, used cars editor
Why it’s here To find out if buying a used family SUV makes good financial sense, and to see if the venerable Qashqai is still a viable alternative to its younger competitors
Needs to Inject a bit of interest into suburban motoring, and cope admirably with a variety of uses, including daily commuting, motorway journeys, school runs and family life
Price when new £24,000 Price when new with all options £25,025 Value on arrival £19,995 Value now £19,495 Mileage 6624 Official economy 53.2mpg Test economy 39mpg Running costs excluding depreciation £565 CO2 emissions 121g/km 0-62mph 10.5sec Top speed 120mph Power 138bhp Insurance group 15E Options Blade Silver metallic paint (£575), Panoramic glass roof (£450)
10 September – Hail and farewell, old friend
My Nissan Qashqai has gone, after four months and nearly 4000 miles in which it’s proved itself a trusty companion and a car I was always happy to get back into after driving a lot of other more varied - and often more compromised – vehicles. Indeed its combination of comfort and ease of use made it as relaxing as a warm Radox bath, and my N-Connecta car was so handsomely equipped it seemed it had my every daily want covered.
In fact, I soon became used to the Qashqai’s even seemingly inconsequential luxuries. For example, it wouldn’t occur to me when buying a car to specify keyless entry. And yet, one of my greatest causes for glee with the Qashqai was to be able to just gently touch the door handle in order to unlock it, without going to all the fuss of searching in my pockets for the key.
Needless to say, it had keyless start too, which was equally useful, and auto lights and wipers, as well as an Intelligent Park Assist function that would steer the car into a parallel parking space. The only slight disappointment was that all that indulgence stopped by the time you got to the rear tailgate: you had to open that by hand.
I could always comfort myself with some excellent fuel consumption figures, though. Its overall consumption of 39.6mpg was impressive for a petrol-engined car put to the urban uses I mostly subjected it to, and longer journeys produced figures way into the 50s, which is truly impressive.
In fact, I would have no hesitation in choosing a petrol engine over a diesel were I buying another Qashqai. You see my 1.3-litre engine was punchy, too, and as smooth as an evening with Nigel Havers. It gave the Qashqai decent urban refinement, and only a little too much road noise ruined the otherwise relaxed motorway cruising. Indeed, driving the car overall was a pleasurable experience, thanks to major controls that put ease of use above response - the flipside of this being that the Qashqai’s unlikely to appeal to a keener driver.
With all that useful tech it comes as a bit of a surprise to admit that my favourite feature on the car, even ranking above the optional panoramic sunroof and the usefully large door mirrors, was the boot. Half of the false floor could be lifted up to act as a divider, and doing so stopped our weekly supermarket shopping from spilling out on the way home. Simple, but devilishly useful.
So, it was comfortable and practical, and it fulfilled its role well. But of course our real purpose in testing this Qashqai was twofold: to see how this six-month-old example stacked up next to a new one (the answer is very well; you wouldn’t have known it was used and the saving of £5000 is large enough to recommend), and to see how the venerable old pioneer of the family SUV class now compares with its newer rivals.
That’s trickier to answer. There’s the striking Peugeot 3008, good to drive and with its ultra-mod interior, for one. And there’s no doubt that those VW Group cousins the Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq are better to drive: stiffer and more positive in the steering. As a payoff for that, though, they are both a little firm in the ride - not that the Qashqai’s ride is perfect, mind, but it’s passable on our car’s 17in wheels and it’s more comfortable than the Seat’s and the Skoda’s.
However, the Karoq does come with the Varioflex rear seats that can be folded or even removed individually, and its boot is usefully bigger than the Qashqai’s. Both cars are more reliable, too, according to our latest reliability survey, as is the 3008, although during our tenure nothing went wrong or fell off my Qashqai. It’s also fair to say that all three of those rivals, as well as being noticeably smarter inside and out, all sport better infotainment packages.
But I still wouldn’t rule out the Qashqai, especially a nearly new one like mine. Doubts over reliability aside, those after a comfortable and practical family SUV at a reasonable price should still have the old warhorse on their shortlist.
Best family SUVs 2022
Want practicality, class and an elevated driving position in a relatively compact package? Then these are the top 10 cars you should be looking at – and the ones that are best avoided
Nissan Qashqai long-term test
The Nissan Qashqai is one of the best-selling family SUVs, but is its popularity deserved? We're living with one to find out